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Austria’s Kurz stepped down as chancellor but will be led by Reuters


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© Reuters Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who is under investigation for corruption, issued a statement at the Federal Chancellery in Vienna, Austria, on October 20, 2021. Router / Lizzie Nisner

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VIENNA (Reuters) – Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Saturday he was resigning after being investigated on suspicion of corruption, but he planned to remain as leader of his party and top lawmaker in parliament.

Kurz denies wrongdoing and says he is willing to continue ruling with his coalition partner Greens. But the left-wing party said the investigation had disqualified Kurz from serving as chancellor and called on his party to name a successor who was “out of the blue.”

The Greens began talks with three Austrian opposition parties on Friday, all of whom plan to resign Kurz and table one or more no-confidence motions against him in a special session of parliament on Tuesday. To pass a motion, the greens must support it.

“So I want to create a way to end the stalemate, prevent chaos and ensure stability,” Kurz told the media in a statement.

He added that he planned to remain as party leader and take charge as the leader of lawmakers in parliament. He said that as a party leader, he was proposing to Foreign Minister Alexander Schellenberg to succeed him as Chancellor.

The Greens have not yet said whether they will accept Schellenberg.

Prior to Kurz’s announcement, Austrian media reported that he would only resign temporarily. Although Kurz did not say he said he would present a legal defense: “Above all … I will certainly use the opportunity to refute and refute the allegations brought against me.”

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